When I first got started with SEO, my approach to keyword research was a total mess.
Back then, I’ll fire up the latest and greatest keyword research tool and start typing in a bunch of random keywords.
So what’s wrong with this approach? my competitor was doing the same approach, no wonder most of the keywords I found were insanely competitive.
Now over the years, I developed a keyword research blueprint that’s work really well. Specifically, this blueprint will help you uncover keywords that your competition doesn’t know about. So let’s dive right in
Step 1: Identify your Customer Persona
This is a step which most people skip and it hurts them, so what is identifying your customer persona actual meaning? let me explain with an example, let’s say my site sells SEO training products to small and medium-sized businesses, most people in my position would open up a keyword research tool and type in things like “SEO training” and “SEO Courses” into the tool.
What’s the problem with this approach? first off like I mention before your competition is doing the exact approach, which means you’re gonna run into the exact same set of keywords as your competitors.
But more important than that this approach ignores a very important fact about your customer and the fact is this: “your customers spends 99.9% of their time online not searching for what you sell” In other words, if you only target your customers when they search for exact thing you sell you’re missing out hundreds of other opportunities to get in front of them, for example in my case most of my customers were SEO agencies so I went to forums and online communities where SEO agency owners tended to hang out.
That way I could see what my target customer search for when he wasn’t searching for SEO training, and I discovered that there are dozens of keywords that my target customer typed in Google that were related to my products but had nothing to do with SEO training.
Keywords like On-page SEO, List Building, How to get more traffic, SEO tools, and because I target these keywords I get my business in front of thousands of my customers every single day, and what my target customers ready to buy I’m the first person that comes to mind.
That’s the power of doing keyword research based on your customer persona and all you need to do for this step is say my customer is X for example if you run an online flower shop you might say: “My customer is a bride getting ready for her upcoming wedding” that was easy, right?
Step 2: Find Customer Topic
Find topics that your customers care about, so how do you find this topic? its simple go to where your target customers hang out online, then look for a topic that they tend to discuss seriously that’s it.
For example, in my case, my customers tend to hang out at marketing-focused communities like inbound.organd growthhackers.com in your case your customers may hang out in places like Pinterest, Reddit, YouTube, industry blogs and niche forums.
Once you’ve identified where your customer hangs out it’s time to keep an eye out for topics that are important to them
Step 3: Keyword Idea Generation
Here, my four favorite tactics for finding on-tap keywords that your competition doesn’t know about.
First, we have Google suggest to use this strategy, just head over to Google and type your topic into the search field but don’t press enter, instead take a look at the keywords that Google suggest for you these are usually awesome long-tail keywords that you can go after.
As a quick pro-tip, try putting a few spaces before your keywords this will show you a completely different set of keywords ideas.
Next up, we have quora.com, Quora is a massive community of people that ask and answer questions on every topic under the sun.
All you need to do is search for your topic in Quora and see which keywords tend to show up
Our next tactic for finding keywords is to use Reddit. Like Quora, Reddit is a massive community of people that discuss every topic under the sun from pets to politics.
To use Reddit for keyword research, simply head over to Reddit and search for your topic when you find a thread on your topic keep on eye for words and phrases that tend to come up, again and again, these make awesome keyword idea.
Next up, we have Google’s searches related to feature. To use this feature, simply type your topic into Google then scroll to the bottom of the results, Google will then show you other searches that are related to the keywords you just put in.
These are usually excellent long-tail keywords that you can target with your content.
Finally, we have Wikipedia, what other site had in-depth articles for topics like mall walking, the Lingerie Football league, henlias, the five-second rule.
To use Wikipedia for keyword research just head over to Wikipedia and type in your topic, then take a look at other entries that, that article links to.
These are usually closely related topics and even potential keywords themselves, also make sure to check out the table of contents for the entry.
Again these are usually keywords that are closely tied to your topic.
Step 4: keyword’s commercial intent
Now that you have a list of potential keywords it’s time to choose the best from your list, how? by analyzing each keyword’s commercial intent.
One of the first websites I ever built shot to the top of Google for my target keyword, and because that keyword got a ton of search volume that single ranking helped that site generate over 60,000 unique visits per month.
Even though that keyword got a ton of searches the people that searched for that keyword were flat broke, which made monetizing that traffic impossible, that’s why today I pay very close attention to a keyword’s commercial intent.
Commercial intent simply means how likely someone searching for a given keyword is to buy from you.
Here’s how to find out if your keyword has a high commercial intent or not, First head over to the Google keyword planner and type in one of your potential keywords then take a look at the suggested bid column this show you how much advertiser are spending in AdWords for a single click from this keyword obviously, the higher the suggested bid the more valuable that keyword is.
Another simple way to size up commercial intent is to see how many AdWords Ads appears when you search for your keyword in Google, if you search for your keyword and see lots of AdWords Ads, it means that people are chopping at the bit to bring those searchers to their site.
Step 5: Search Volume and Keyword Trend
Back in the day, Google would show you exact search volume numbers in the Google keyword planner unfortunately, that ship has sailed.
Today, unless you’re running active AdWords campaigns they show you an extremely unhelpful search volume range, so how can you see how many people searched for your keyword?
There are two freemium tools that get the job done the first is SEMrush.com, to find a keyword search volume simply type the keyword into SEMrush and they’ll show you how many searches that keyword gets every month.
You can also use Kwfinder.com again just pop your keyword into the tool and you’ll see the exact amount of searches that it gets every month.
Now before you decide on a keyword I recommend one last bonus step, now this step is completely optional but in my experience, it helps you find the absolute best keyword for your business, and that step is to look at your keyword’s growth in Google trends.
For example, let’s say that you found two keywords that have similar search volume and commercial intent and you don’t know which one to pick but when you look at Google trends you noticed that one keyword is growing in popularity and the other is dropping like a stone, obviously you’d wanna go with the keyword that’s growing.